Updated: Nov 7
The other day I received an email from a Christian journalist who felt that Israel was committing genocide. She wasn’t being rude and even asked for help in understanding. If you are a journalist, you are often in an echo chamber, hearing the same fake news and propaganda repeatedly. I was blessed that she asked me. Her words are in italics.
According to Al Jazeera, "at least 9,061 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7 -- one-third of whom are children. More than 1,400 people have been killed in Israel..."
I would not believe any stats from Al Jazeera, they are getting their numbers from the Hamas-controlled health authorities. Why would anybody trust Hamas for honesty? It was Al Jazeera that said that Israel bombed the hospital and killed 500 Palestinians. How did Al Jazeera know without any investigation that:
1. it was Israel that bombed the hospital, and
2. there were 500 causalities?
Simple, they believed what Hamas told them. It took Israel weeks to determine that 1400 people died on October 7th, but in 15 minutes, the crack investigators of Hamas knew it was 500. (Later reports say it was 50-100, but the propaganda damage was done).
But wait, there is more! We now have conclusive evidence that it was an Islamic Jihad missile, not Israeli.
We have a taped confession in Arabic (I assume you have heard) between two Hamas terrorists.
Twenty percent of their rockets never make it out of Gaza, often killing their own people. This turned out to be their most deadly Jihad rocket ever from Gaza! And instead of mourning the death of their own people, they used their self-genocide for propaganda.
There was no crater in the ground, which an Israeli missile would most definitely leave—a crude Islamic Jihad rocket would not.
There is a video of a bunch of rockets being shot and one falling short, time-stamped at the same time as the hospital bombing. "Shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday, a volley of rockets lit up the darkened sky over Gaza. Videos analyzed by The Associated Press show one veering off course, breaking up in the air before crashing to the ground."
The kind of response Israel is giving to the October 7th attack makes me very uneasy. For every Israeli that died by Hamas, Israel has killed at least eight people.
Of course, Israel’s response makes you uneasy. People are dying. It makes me uneasy. War is not pretty. But tell me, what are Israel’s options? First, have you seen the footage from Oct 7th that Israel took from the bodycams of dead terrorists?
Raping dead bodies,
Cutting off the heads of babies,
Burning whole families alive in their homes,
Shooting fathers in front of their children,
Shooting hundreds of teens at a dance,
Raping living people (there is a report that I have not confirmed of a girl being raped 25 times by Hamas fighters IN FRONT OF HER BOYFRIEND. Then they shot them. Apparently, Hamas taped it!),
And we have 242 of our people (and others) as hostages in Gaza!
On Monday, I will have a chance to see the footage myself with international Christian journalists in Jerusalem.
In the face of such disproportionality, I am finding it hard to pray for Israel, especially since all I can see are the shell-shocked faces and the mangled bodies of children in hospital beds.
First, much of what you see is fake. Look at this.
This is fake. The child has six fingers. The shirt is fake, and so is the dirt on his face. The woman is not there. Welcome to photoshop!
The goal is not tit for tat. I don’t understand this ridiculous idea of proportionality. The goal of a war is to win it, not to achieve proportionality.
Only a sick person would recommend a proportional response. Do you know what proportionality would look like? Would you feel better if we simply did what they did? What if our response was precisely the same…we find 1400 Palestinians and shoot them, burn many of them alive, cut their babies' heads off, rape their women repeatedly, and take 245 grandparents and babies as hostages…. Would that be acceptable to the world? Of course not. But that would be in proportion. We are not trying to do them what they did to us; our goal is to destroy Hamas.
Please don't misunderstand me. I do not believe there should be no response to Hamas' horrifically brutal attack last month.
The problem is that Hamas embeds itself amongst the people because they are cowards. They have no problem with 10,000 Palestinian deaths (though that number is most likely not close to the truth). They love death because of their twisted religious concept of martyrdom. Any five-year-old (with five or six fingers) who is killed is a martyr and, according to their theology, goes straight to heaven as a hero. Therefore, they have no problem putting their people in harm's way, and they lose no sleep when Palestinians are killed as collateral damage. In fact, they love it! They will use it as powerful propaganda that will melt western hearts, who have no clue about Middle Eastern culture or warfare.
Compare this to Michal, an Israeli mother and friend of ours whose son is probably never going to walk again and, despite the morphine, is crying out in pain day and night!
Hamas has built their underground headquarters under a HOSPITAL!!! They are daring Israel to bomb them and want us to do so in order to show how we don’t care for sick people in hospitals. But it is Hamas that doesn't care about sick Palesitnians and offers them as bait. How sick to use the people you pretend to be fighting for to protect you as human shields. They are not fighting for Palestinians—they hate Palestinians. They are fighting for Iran’s form of religious fanaticism.
Think about the hypocrisy. Hamas will not let the people of Gaza flee to the south but tried to smuggle out fighters, pretending to be wounded in ambulances. The list that was sent to Egypt was vetted and they found that 1/3 of the roughly 100 names were Hamas terrorists. They force their people to stay and die while the cowardly terrorists delay their trip to "paradise."
The goal is not to kill Palestinians but to destroy Hamas. But because of their tactics, innocent Palestinians will die. It is horrible, but they left us no choice. We cannot risk another October 7th attack. And this is their goal!
We must teach Israel a lesson, and we will do it twice and three times. The [October 7 massacre] was just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth. Will we have to pay a price? (meaning they will sacrifice their children) Yes, and we are ready to pay it. We are called a nation of martyrs, and we are proud to sacrifice martyrs.
This is Ghazi Hamad, a member of Hamas’s political bureau.
Help me understand because what I am seeing, like many millions around the world, is that Israel seems hell-bent on genocide, and they don't care what anyone has to say about it.
How can you think Israel is hell-bent on genocide? If we wanted genocide, we would just destroy Gaza in 10 minutes. We have that firepower. That would be easy and much safer for our soldiers (like Oded, Michal’s son!). It is because we don’t want genocide that we are sending our young men inside of Gaza, putting them in danger in order to hunt down Hamas.
I really don’t know what is wrong with the world. Hamas is the elected leadership of Gaza. They attacked Israel in the most brutal and barbaric way. We must stop them. The only way is the way we are doing it. War is horrible. Putin has sacrificed 200,000 Russians for his stupid, unprovoked war, but what nation would not respond as we have to Hamas’ bloodthirsty, inhumane actions? China would. Russia would. Even France would! The US would.
How would you respond? Please give me an alternate plan.
What is happening is not genocide. Genocide happened on Oct 7th in Israel. They murdered 1/4 of the residents of some communities; they killed over 100 people in just one neighborhood. That is genocide.
Hamas murdered Arab children! Where is the outrage from the Arab world? Yet, they support Hamas!
What is happening now is the elimination of Hamas. Innocent Palestinians are being killed because Hamas will not let them leave. Why is that so hard for the world to understand?
Please don't misunderstand me. I do not believe there should be no response to Hamas' horrifically brutal attack last month.
Again, how should we respond? How do you have a surgical strike on an underground enemy that is using human shields? Are you aware that Hamas
1) took the car keys from Palestinians trying to flee south?
2) Then they took their IDs.
3) We have eyewitness testimony that they are shooting at their own people who are trying to leave. They need them as human shields.
The attitude coming across is, "the only good Palestinian is a dead Palestinian."
Those are not my words, and most Israelis would never utter that (though there are some). But the truth is that the world seems to think that Palestinian lives are only valuable if they can blame Israel. Around 4,000 Palestinians were murdered in the recent Syrian civil war. Where were the protests at Harvard? Why were they not chanting death to Syrians? The truth is that the world doesn't love Palestinians nearly as much as they hate Jews.
Palestinians wallow in refugee camps all over the Middle East. In 75 years, the Arab nations with 500 million people have refused to integrate Palestinian refugees into their society. Israel, with a population of about 500,000 in 1948, integrated 600,000-800,000 Jewish refugees after independence and another million Russian-speaking Jews in the 90s. There are no Jewish refugee camps in Israel because the refuggees were absorbed into the population and economy. The Arab world treats the Palestinian Arabs like trash. Do a little research, and you'll find out that this is absolutely true.
What about millions around the world chanting “death to the Jews.” We are just one tiny nation of 7,000,000 Jews and 2,000,000 Arabs. The antisemitism that you are seeing today has always been there. We are only 80 years past the genocide of 6,000,000 European Jews. A holocaust survivor recently said that they had never again heard the antisemitic chants that they heard in Nazi-controlled Europe until this past month.
Are you concerned about the chants we have lived with for thousands of years: “The only good Jew is a dead Jew?” We are alone in this world. If there were any other way to destroy Hamas, we would do it. Why would we go out of our way to turn the entire world against us? This is the only way.
And if Arabs cared at all about Palestinians, why won’t Egypt fully open her border? Why does Egypt do nothing to help Gaza build an economy? Are you even aware that Egypt borders Gaza? Israel has not besieged Gaza (we left in 2005), but their Arab brothers in Egypt have. Egypt outlawed Hamas (Muslim Brotherhood) in Egypt and put the leader Morsi in jail. But they support it in Gaza…how sad for the people of Gaza.
You might want to ask Gazans who they blame. This woman bravely rails against the Hamas leaders who live in luxury. Her sons and husband are unemployed, while the son of a Hamas leader has a car, jeep, wife, and a house. She says that this is the complaint of all Gazans.
It is distressing to see a people who survived many attempts to wipe them off the face of the earth —- especially in the last couple of centuries — take a decision to inflict such action on others.
This is complete nonsense. There are 2,000,000 people in Gaza. As stated before, we could turn ALL of Gaza into a parking lot in 10 minutes. What we are doing will ultimately be for the prosperity of the Palestinians. Do you think they like living in a police state? We are not guilty of what you are suggesting. While mistakes are made in every war, we are doing what must be done to root out Hamas.
Again, let me be clear... Hamas needs to be put in check and permanently crippled, as was the case with ISIS.
How should we do that? Has there ever been a war without collateral damage? Is it possible? And in most conventional wars, the perpetrators didn’t hide behind their civilians.
I want you to hear yourself. You condemn Hamas and agree that they need to be eliminated. But you seem to think that we can do that without hurting Palestinians. They are embedded amongst innocent people because they are absolute cowards. They want their own people to die so they can use it for propaganda. So, our only choices are to allow Hamas to continue or to fight according to their rules. They are the cowards who will not face us one-on-one on the battlefield. They are the ones hiding behind grandmothers and children. The blood of the Palestinian people is on their hands.
But if you have a safer way, I am sure that Israel's generals are all ears. They do not desire to send our sons and daughters in harm's way.
Is there something I am missing? Please help me understand. I don't want to hate Israel, but it is getting harder and harder not to do so given the way it is treating innocent Palestinian civilians.
What are you missing here? So much!
Again, if we didn’t care about innocent Palestinians, we would not send ground forces inside. That is what you don’t understand. This is only because we have chosen the more humane option, to go inside Gaza rather than bomb them into oblivion. The bombing before the ground invasion was to make it safer for our soldiers. This is the only option. Both options are bad for Gaza, but this one will save more Palestinian lives. What did Hamas think our response would be?
And remember, there are 2,000,000 people in Gaza. Seeking to kill them would be genocide. What we are doing is, by definition, not genocide. Is the U.S. guilty of genocide? According to Brown University: "There have been between 280,771-315,190 Iraqi civilians killed by direct violence since the U.S. invasion. The actual number of civilians killed by direct and indirect war violence is unknown but likely much higher." Where is the outcry? Putin has killed 10,000 Ukrainians and sacrificed so many Russian boys in the process. China enslaves Uighurs. Myanmar has committed genocide against Rohingya Muslims. But the world is in an uproar when Israel defends herself.
But the children... the pregnant women... the grandmas and grandpas... they should not be forced to become collateral damage to the extent that is happening right now.
It is stunning to me that you are blaming Israel when Hamas refuses to let these people flee. They are holding 242 Israelis hostage, but they're also holding 2 million Arabs hostage!
I appreciate your concern for Palestinian children. I share your concern deeply. In 2021 we donated $10,000 to a hostpial in Gaza for children. But remember, every single Hamas operative was once an innocent Palestinian child. At what point did they become so radicalized that they would commit the atrocities that were committed on October 7th?
As I said, we left Gaza in 2005. Hamas has been in control of Gaza for almost 20 years. They have sent well over 100,000 rockets into Israel. We have tried everything possible to deal with them. What more do you expect from us? Nothing else has worked. The only option is to go into Gaza and find them. The only safe way to do that is going to cause civilian casualties and the deaths of our own precious young soldiers. That is what happens in urban warfare when you put your entire terrorist apparatus under hospitals, schools, and neighborhoods. There is no other way. I hope you understand that. We have tried everything else. Nothing has worked. October 7th happened after we tried everything else. We can never again allow another October 7th.
For 20 years, Hamas has not focused on building roads or providing jobs. They steal aid money, fuel, concrete, and food for their terror network. The West keeps giving them money for the Palestinian people, and Hamas keeps stealing it. This is not my propaganda; there is absolute proof of their theft. Even the United Nations admits it.
You didn't ask about Israeli Arabs, but let me share...
We have 2,000,000 Israeli Arabs, and there are no protests about our actions in Gaza? How is it that liberal elites in Harvard know better than the Israeli Arabs what is best for them? (Talk about racism and colonialism!) The Arabs of Israel have seen what Hamas did—yes, they really did behead forty babies!— and they want nothing to do with Hamas.
This woman is an Israeli Arab leading a non-profit of Bedouin women (Bedouins are Arab nomads, though many have left the nomadic life for a more stable existence in Israel). They are collecting food for Israeli soldiers and civilians. You will not hear that on the BBC!
The NY Times reports that at least 17 Bedouin Arabs were killed by Hamas on October 7th, and many more lost good jobs because of the destruction of Israeli farms.
"During their murderous Oct. 7 rampage, Hamas militants attacked Zikkim Beach near the Gaza Strip where Abd Alrahman Aatef Ziadna and his family had been camping along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Mr. Ziadna, 26, was slain inside his tent, and four members of his Bedouin family vanished (likely kidnapped)." NY Times
In fact, this video will blow your mind. To be clear, I personally don't want revenge but justice and security. But listen to these Israeli Arab Bedouin fighters for the IDF.
"Are you with me? Until death? Are you with me? Until death? Are you with me? Until death?
"Twenty-seven days ago, Hamas came here and murdered children and women and did things that are forbidden (in the Muslim) religion. We are on our way to them to kill every one of them. Yes, Hamas, get ready. Stay in your tunnels. Hide there like little chicks. We are coming to you to make your mothers cry for you. You want to be a Shaheed (Martyr)? No problem for me. By my hands, you will be a martyr. You understand? Every Hamas member, by God, you will die. The worst has entered you. Be ready; we are warning you!
"Are you with me? Until death?
"LET’S GO TO GAZA!!!”
I hope this helps you understand Israel’s position.
Never again is now.